SATIN RABBITS- The Ultimate Dual Purpose Rabbit
One of the breed of rabbits I raise are called Satins. They are a large breed, derived from a genetic mutation in the fur of some New Zealand Whites back in the 1930’s. This mutation caused a hollow hair shaft, which gives a beautiful shine and quality to the color of the coats of this “heavyweight” breed. They come in lots of colors, and are generally calmer and easier to handle.
The Satin of today is a very different breed from the New Zealands because in order to put color on that fabulous hollow hair shaft the white NZ mutation was crossed with many other breeds, and then the body was reestablished. The Satin is genetically diversified the natural way. I have heard that the New Zealand breed has only six breeding lines!
Here’s what I did in breeding- I took great stock from very distant strains, and then bred the best I could get. By crossing the colors and the two lines they have the quality and benefits of hybrid vigor. That is when two diverse satins are crossed and unusual strength, beauty, size, or vigor is noticed in the young produced.
Satins are also a excellent meat rabbit not only for meat, but also for their awesome pelts. The hair of Satins have a hollow, luminous hair shaft that gives them a great deal of sheen. They have 12 color types, black, blue, Californian, chinchilla, chocolate, copper, opal, otter, red, Siamese, white and the broken group. The ideal weight of this breed is 9.5 -10 pounds. Satins have a high meat to bone ratio and make a 5 pound fryer well in the 8-12 week time frame.
A study was done comparing the new zealand white and the satin. The NZW reached 5 pounds earlier than the Satin, but took 100 pounds of feed to raise 8 kits to 5 pounds. The Satins raised 8 kits to 5 pounds it took a few weeks longer but only used 85 pounds of feed. Satins are easy to breed are good mothers have 5 to 11 kits in a litter and foster other kits with no problems with good milk production. If your not sure what breed is for you the Satin is a great choice for your homestead! I breed blacks,blues and Chocolates and have been selectively breeding these for winter production and am happy with the results!
Posted on December 11, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged fur, growth, meat, pelt, Satin. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
When you say it takes 85lbs of feed to grow the kits to fryer maturity, to you mean for all 8 kits, or per rabbit? Just trying to get an idea of the cost involved! I want to produce rabbit meatfor my family but need to know that it is feasible for my pocketbook.
All 8 kits
Wow, that really is very cost effective! Thank you for the quick reply too!
Can you recall where was the article about Satins only requiring 85 lbs. of feed to 5 lb fryer size? I would love to see more info. Thanks.
In March 1928, the Federal Government established the first and only experimental station in the United States devoted solely to research on the breeding and raising of rabbits, They are the resource I got this information from. I looked online and cannot find that particular research paper. I have some old books printed by the station and contain lots of old scientific findings (this is were I found the satin info) they also printed pamphlets containing some of this info.
Thanks so much for all the info on rabbits! We are a small 4 acre farm raising chickens, goats, turkey and guinea as of now. We are thinking of adding rabbits to the list. We are interested in dual purpose, meat being the main goal but sure would love the beautiful pelts for hats or winter blankets and throws!
Considering starting raising rabbits and Satin is a breed I’m interested in, but I can’t seem to find anyone in FL selling them. Is there a reason people might not raise them here? If not, what kind of options would I have on trying to find these guys.
Your best bet would be go to a rabbit show, lots of rabbit breeds and breeders.
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